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Berlin-Gorham boys' hockey looks to continue dominance


January 13, 2021
BERLIN — Coach Mike Poulin and the Berlin-Gorham boys' hockey team were named co-champions of the 2020 season along with the Kennett Eagles, following a pandemic shortened playoff run, which saw the Mountaineers outlast the two-time defending champion John Stark-Hopkinton Generals in overtime in the semifinals to reach the never-played championship game last March. The Mountaineers finished the 2020 season with a record of 15-1-2 and looked as sharp as they had all season before the COVID-19 outbreak shut down all athletics in the Granite State. Determined to finish what they started, the Mountaineers enter the 2021 campaign as a favorite to once again play in the championship game. However, as Poulin and the Mountaineers know, preseason predictions and last year's memories mean absolutely nothing once the puck drops today (Jan. 13) on the new season.

Senior Tyler Rousseau, who had 41 points last season (28 goals, 13 assists) looks to lead the way offensively for the Mountaineers along with juniors Brayden Riendeau (10 goals, 10 assists) and Griffin Melanson (10 goals, 12 assists). While Landon Croteau and Brody Duquette look to add even more to the squad as they enter their sophomore seasons. A strong class of incoming freshmen, including, Mike Cote, Jamison Walsh, Jason Sweat, Brady Poulin, Cam Pake and Evan Poulin, will look to contribute quality minutes as well for the Mountaineers this season.

Defensively, the Mountaineers bring back senior Dom Paradise and the junior core of Ben Estrella, Carter Poulin and Jonah Berthiume to man the blue line. This group will look to play strong in front of returning sophomore goaltender Anthony Pizzuto, while freshman Kolin Melanson looks to play in games between the pipes as well.

All in all, the Mountaineers have, on paper, what looks like as strong of a Division III team that there is. However, they will need to translate that to actual success on the ice. Coach Poulin takes each day to remind his players to take nothing for granted.

"Every day we get to practice is a gift. It can be taken away from us at any time as we saw last season. I want the boys to focus on one day at a time and on improving themselves as players each day," Poulin said. "We have a target on our backs following last season and the worst thing that could happen is for us to become complacent."

The Mountaineers will open the today, Jan. 13, on the road against Laconia-Winnisquam-Inter Lakes before a quick turnaround slates the two teams in a rematch Saturday at the Notre Dame Arena. Although fans will not be permitted at either home or away games, the Northeast Sports Network (nsnsports.net) will be live streaming all home games on their web site.

Martin Lord Osman
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